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Introducing Radiation Oncologist Dr. Ritu Arya to Texas Oncology–Arlington Cancer Center North

January 25, 2022

Ritu Arya, M.D., radiation oncologist, is now seeing patients at Texas Oncology–Arlington Cancer Center North. Dr. Arya discusses her vision for the future of radiation oncology and her approach to patient care.

Did you always know you wanted to be a doctor, specifically studying radiation oncology?

I actually did not know the field of radiation oncology existed when I entered medical school. My medical school was unique as we had an entire year dedicated to research. As I entered my research year, I enjoyed most of my clinical rotations and felt torn by my career choices. So, I approached the year looking for a mentor. I wanted to work with a female physician who was invested in education, mentorship, and clinical practice. I was lucky enough to have found a radiation oncologist specializing in breast radiotherapy. Through our research, I was able to spend a significant amount of time in the clinic with patients undergoing treatment. This experience helped me realized this is where I wanted to be. As a radiation oncologist, I have the privilege of working with my patients daily. Here, I am afforded the space to forge longitudinal relationships and get to know my patients as individuals. The most rewarding part of my job is getting to know the intricacies of each patient's fears, hopes, and goals that help shape their cancer treatment. Each person has a unique perspective of life, which constantly pushes me to strive to be a better physician and human being.

What excites you most about joining an organization like Texas Oncology?

I am excited to join an organization invested in delivering evidence-based quality care with compassion. Furthermore, as a truly multidisciplinary organization, there is a commitment to interdisciplinary communication at every level. Communication is pivotal to providing patient-centered care, which is my mission as a provider.

My ultimate goal is to understand each patient's goals of care so I can clearly communicate appropriate treatment options and enable us to work together in developing a treatment plan tailored to them."

If you could tell prospective patients one thing, what would it be?

I would like my patients to know that I view them human beings above all else. I see you as a patient with cancer, not a cancer patient. Cancer does not define who you are to me. Each patient who comes to me has unique fears, hopes, dreams, and a personal history greater than a diagnosis of cancer. My ultimate goal is to understand each patient's goals of care so I can clearly communicate appropriate treatment options and enable us to work together in developing a treatment plan tailored to them.

What are you most looking forward to as cancer treatment continues to evolve?

We are at a pivotal time in the evolution of radiation oncology. As systemic therapies become more effective, radiotherapy will play a greater role in curative therapy, especially as we begin to further understand and integrate high-dose radiotherapy techniques into out treatments. For example, high-dose radiotherapy is now playing a key role in the treatment of oligometastatic disease, which was previously considered incurable. We are at the forefront of increasingly individualized care and I am excited to see where this journey will take us!

What are you regularly tuning into right now?

I regularly listen to audiobooks, especially while walking my dog or on the commute to work. I just got a Dallas Public Library card and am excited to use it. Please send suggestions my way!


For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.